Ecuador is among 120 countries to be included in the new U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). The preferences were extended to December 31, 2017 on Friday by a vote of the U.S. Congress
“This is great news because the U.S. is Ecuador’s largest trading partner,” according to Minister of Production Nathalie Cely.
“This bill passed the House of Representatives and the US Senate has positive implications for the Ecuadorian productive sector, once it is official. This would guarantee tariff competitiveness for our producers, as it covers about 3,000 products worldwide,” she said.
Cely said that, in the case of Ecuador, the preferential tariff would benefit products such as flowers, mangos, pineapples, fruit pulp, and processed wood, among others.
The GSP grants duty free or reduced tariffs to the beneficiary countries. The less developed countries generally receive preferential treatment for certain products and significant tariff reductions. Among the countries covered by the GSP in Latin America, in addition to Ecuador, are Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The tariff preferences are intended for approximately 3,500 products from 127 developing countries and 1,500 additional products from 44 lesser developed countries, according to data from the Information System of Foreign Trade of the Organization of American States (OAS).
After the passage of the Act preferences through the House of Representatives, the Senate approved on Thursday the GSP and the legislation must now be signed by President Barack Obama.
The renewal of the GSP will be in force until December 31, 2017; it will apply retroactively, so there will be a period of 180 days for importers to request the US customs tariffs to return the money they paid after the expiry of the previous law (August 1, 2013), detailed the Ministry of Production of Ecuador.
In addition, it authorizes the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) to include “a limited number of travel products, such as some models of wallet, briefcases, or backpacks that were previously excluded from the program, in the GSP.”